Citilab is an open question and, therefore, there are as many different answers as there are people who form a part of this project. All those who recently attended the CCCB (Barcelona’s Centre for Contemporary Culture) so that the illustrious Ramon Sangüesa, director of Innovation at Citilab, could explain to us what sort of project it is, and what it can contribute as a cultural model, certainly the thing that nobody expected was for a man of more than 90 summers, (the eldest “citilaber“) to make things very clear via a video spontaneously recorded some months ago.
In an 8 minute video-ette which comprised part of the presentation one could perceive very personal Citilabs and experiencies that make up this project "in construction" (will it ever stop being so?) of more than a year-and-a-half of life. Sangüesa dedicated a good slice of the presentation to highlighting what we have all learnt along the way during this time, the positive experiences and also the negative ones (we can always learn more from our mistakes).
For all those who could not come and for those who want to see it again:
In this video Ramon Sangüesa defends one of the fundamental princples of Citilab, that a centre for technology can also be a cultural centre.
A model to copy
There was no shortage after the presentation of a whole raft of questions, the majority directed at knowing what there is behind Citilab and in what way this model can be replicated.
One often believes that the future comes in the shape of a Business Plan, and this was exactly the question that was posed: what course is this project going to follow, let’s say, in five years time. "If we adopt a rigid structure and we predetermine it to a large extent, we run the risk of coming to a halt", was the answer from Ramon Sangüesa.
The idea is to go on exploring the field of social innovation in ambits as diverse as education and social participation and above all learn which are the concrete indicators to be measured, a task which Citilab can count on the University of Columbia (USA) for.
And companies? Well those that come nearest to seeing citizens as a source of innovation are the Living Labs, a model which, according to Sangüesa, "currently is what companies and Government Administration looks to but we want to go further".
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